TiVo shuffled their pricing today. Here’s the new TiVo Service Payment Plans, TiVo Multi-Service Discount Agreement, and current rebate. My reading of these is that current users are grandfathered at their current $12.95 or $6.95 MSD rate, since the new rates apply when the user agrees to activate. Maybe TiVo can clarify that.
TiVo has reduced the pricing on the bundle packages from TiVo.com. Bundles include an 80-hour S2. Pre-paid plans used to be $224, $369, and $469 for 1-, 2-, and 3-year plans, and they are now $199, $299, and $349. This makes the three year plan, already the best value, even better. The plans break down to the equivalent of $16.58, $12.46, and $9.69 per month. Even better, the 3-year plan is currently available for $299 – the equivalent of $8.31 per month.
The monthly rates have changed too. They used to be $19.95, $18.95, or $16.95 per month, for 1-, 2-, or 3-year plans. Now they’re $19.95, $14.95, and $12.95. That’s a savings of $96 over two years, and $144 over three.
At the same time, the upgrade cost of the 80-hour S2DT went from $30 to $69.99, and the 180-hour S2DT from $130 to $169.99. So pre-paid S2DT plans are $15 more, $30 less, and $80 less ($130 less with the special), respectively. And monthly plans have a net $40 increase, $56 decrease, and $104 decrease.
So TiVo has done a lot of price-cutting on their bundles.
TiVo has increased their rebate for retail purchases. The old rebate was $150. The new rebate is $180 for the S2DT, or any of the non-TiVo brand boxes (Humax, Toshiba, or Pioneer), and $220 for the TiVo S2 (540 version – aka ‘nightlight’ TiVo with the white front.) So they’ve effectively dropped the acquisition costs of the hardware.
The old service-only pre-paid plans were $155.40, $299, and $399 for 1-, 2-, or 3-year plans. These are now $199, $299, and $349. So the one year plan went up $43.60, the two year plan is the same, and the three year plan came down $50. And the rebate went up $30 or $70, depending. So the one year plan went up slightly ($13.60) with the lower rebate, while the other 5 combinations came down. Again, this makes the three year commitment an even better value – now the HW *and* the plan cost less (after rebate). Again, even better, the 3-year plan is currently on special for $299.
The only monthly service-only plan was $12.95/month, across the board. This has changed to a tiered system that matches the bundle pricing – $19.95, $14.95, and $12.95 per month for 1-, 2-, or 3-year commitments. So one year went up $84, 2 years $48, and three years is the same. For the lower rebate that means a net change of $54 more, $18 more, or $30 less. And for the higher rebate it is $14 more, $22 less, or $70 less.
The Multi-Service discount has also changed. It used to be $6.95 per month across the board for up to 5 additional units on an account. Now it is a $6/month discount for up to 5 units. That means you commit for a period of time and the price will be $13.95, $8.95, or $6.95 per month for a 1-, 2-, or 3-year commitment.
It looks like TiVo is encouraging users to commit for a longer period of time by making the longer terms even more attractive. Overall, this is a price reduction. For S2 bundles, five out of six bundle options have dropped in price, the sixth remained the same. For S2DT bundles, eight of twelve have dropped in price, four of twelve have increased (two just barely, $15, the other two by $40). For service only, five of six pre-paid options came down in price, one went up just slightly ($13.60), after rebate. Three of the six monthly service-only plans dropped in net cost, while three went up (two not by much – $14 and $18, one noticeably – $54), after rebate.
So, all told, out of 30 combinations, 21 dropped in net cost. One remained the same. Five increased slightly ($13.60 to $18). And three increased more noticeably ($40 or $54).
All but one increase are on 1-year plans. (The other is an $18 increase over two-years.) I’ve never felt the 1-year deals where that good, I’ve always recommended the three-year deal for anyone who can afford it. (Well, I used to recommend lifetime.)
Believe it or not, after all that, this simplifies the pricing structure because the bundle and service-only prices are now the same. So there are effectively three pre-paid and three monthly options, instead of six of each.
I feel that only three of the increases are noticeable, the others are less than $20 (all but one less than $15). And some of the reductions are quite significant – up to $144! – so I think that this is generally a good change. There are many more net decreases than increases.